Jax Build Guide by Te Curt
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello, I'm Te Curt, here with my first guide on Mobafire. However, I intend to make this guide as detailed as possible so that you can see just how great of a champion Jax is and how he can bring a lot to the table in terms of teamfights and dueling. I started out as a rather bad Jax player, using unorthodox strategies and builds that I believe I have corrected and perfected to share with the community so everybody can be successful with Jax. Therefore, this guide contains the information about Jax's gameplay that I have compiled over a span of about 200 games.
Jax is basically a bulky off-tank who is built to deal significant sustained damage. Therefore, he has the potential to work as an anti-carry and take out the enemy carries as long as he doesn't initiate a teamfight.
two other things to note are that I include several builds in this guide, but I will be focusing on the build I use the most often, which is my AD Jax build, as I have played it since I started and it is very effective for fighting most solo tops that you will encounter. The second thing is that I am still updating from the preseason changes, so not everything is up to date yet.
Jax Champion Spotlight
I would also like to give a special thanks to the following people:
-Jhoijhoi for the guide on making guides as well as the section dividers, found here.
-That Trev Person for helping me with the creation of this guide. His guide can be found here.
Pros / Cons
+Great gap-closer/escape mechanism through Leap Strike
+Low cooldowns late game
+Can be tanky with little armor/magic resist
+ Grandmaster's Might is a large boost to your defenses
+Strong Duelist once you get ultimate
-High Cooldowns early game
-Weaker early game before getting Grandmaster's Might
-Only CC is Counter Strike
-Not very tanky without Grandmaster's Might active
-No built in sustain
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration My primary choice and a better choice than Greater Mark of Attack Damage for later in the game when the other team has built up some armor while still being effective all game. These marks will give you some armor penetration so that you can still deal some damage, even to that tanky Amumu standing in the middle of everyone with his Despair on, thinking he has too much armor for you to do much damage. He will be sad if you have these.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage These are good for some early game damage in lane or in the jungle so that you have faster clear times or so you can have better early game dueling if that happens. This also makes last hitting easier.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration These are especially good if you are playing Hybrid Jax as they will make your AP much more worth it since they won't be able to shield it as well. They are basically the same as Greater Mark of Desolation but for AP.
Greater Mark of Precision These have a great balance of both armor penetration and magic penetration, making it an outstanding hybrid rune to have on you. They are basically a weaker version of both Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Mark of Magic Penetration but still great for when you get a Hextech Gunblade.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed These are very nice for both your passive Relentless Assault and your ultimate Grandmaster's Might as they increase your attack speed by a decent amount. They also work nicely in the jungle since you will get more hits in less time and once you reach Level 6, your damage will increase more than with any other rune here.
Greater Seal of Armor My personal favorite runes as these give you 13 armor right at the beginning of the game. The reason I like these runes are that they make jungling extremely easy since basically everything in the jungle does physical damage only. They also work well when playing solo top because the champions that just want to harass you down with a melee combo such as Renekton or Irelia will have a harder time reaching this goal, even while Counter Strike is down.
Greater Seal of Vitality A nice boost to your health as the game progresses and before you get your Warmog's Armor as this will save you from those other situations when Ignite would normally kill you without the extra health. It is my usual choice for when I'm fighting champions like Mordekaiser and Swain. It still does help late game since at the end, you would get 175HP from these runes alone and that is nothing to laugh about, since health is one of those things that Olaf will hate when you kill him and get so much more of it by leveling up.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Since Jax doesn't get much Magic Resist on his own, these can greatly benefit him in getting more of this throughout the game. They grant him about 23 magic resist without any items and paired up with Maw of Malmortius, he will be able to take a lot more when Fiddlesticks figures out you have been stealing his red buff and attempts to take it back. His Drain will deal significantly less damage and now you will have his blue buff too unless he manages to get away.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power One of the better choices for when you choose Hybrid Jax as they will increase your damage, the magic resist received from Grandmaster's Might as well as giving your other abilities a decent boost to how powerful they are at the end of the game.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction This will greatly help your early game when your Leap Strike has an unbearably long cooldown of about 10 seconds as well as your Counter Strike's extremely long cooldown. Olaf will not be pleased when you use your Leap Strike away from his gank when you had used Leap Strike only a few seconds before the gank occured, but it will also help your late game so you can use your Leap Strike on that Annie to ensure that she doesn't get away.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage My main choice for AD Jax while still being helpful on Hybrid Jax, these give you a good 7 AD to help out your early game. They do depreciate somewhat by late game, but they are still useful nevertheless. I recommend pairing them with Greater Mark of Desolation since you will then have both bonus AD and extra armor penetration.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation A much larger amount than Greater Mark of Desolation which makes it even more effective, even when Amumu gets an early Sunfire Cape just for you. These runes give you 10 bonus armor penetration which greatly benefits you throughout the entire game.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Useful mainly when playing Hybird Jax, these give you a bonus 15 ability power (the same as a Doran's Ring) right from the start, giving your level 1 Empower even more damage so that you can deal even more damage when you trade with your opponent. They also give you a boost to your Grandmaster's Might so that it will hurt more than it does already. Only problem is that 15 Ability Power is not a significant amount for Hybrid Jax, but it is still great to have it without the purchse of items.
For masteries, I take a 9-21-0 combination to maximize early game tankiness along with some extra damage for harrass and dueling. I take 21 points in defense because he needs to be able to survive his early game until he can reach Level 6 as well as farming until then. These masteries will make it that much easier to reach Level 6 with a good amount of farm and not being completely zoned (with the exception of Yorick and champions like him).
Summoner's Wrath : This will give you a buff on Exhaust, Ghost, and Ignite if you decided to choose any of these spells. If you chose a Teleport and Flash combo, I would suggest putting this point in Mental Force because AP can still be useful on AD as well as Hybrid Jax.
Fury : A small attack speed boost but still very useful, especially when you have to get up your Relentless Assault stacks up to start hitting the enemy for a large number of 3rd hit procs on Grandmaster's Might to deal your main source of damage. Also, I feel that Jax relies more on his basic attacks to deal damage vs. his abilities (unincluding the passive of Grandmaster's Might).
Deadliness : These help you deal more damage early game so that you can have an easier time farming or trading early game.
Weapon Expertise : 8% armor penetration is better than your Greater Mark of Armor Penetration since it gives percent armor penetration, along with the fact that it only takes 1 mastery point!Defense
Hardiness : Jax benefits from bonus armor as it helps so that he can survive some of the melee champs you may meet solo top and also a little more survivability in the jungle. The reason you want to take three points is that there are commonly more AD champions on a team than AP, those being solo top, bot, and jungle or sometimes just solo top and bot.
Resistance : Free Magic Resist since Jax doesn't get too much by the end of the game, therefore being useful even if it is only one point.
Durability : 6 Extra health per level, adding up to 108 at Level 18. Very useful for Jax to have as the game progresses.
Vigor : A bonus 3 health regen at the start of the game to decrease the need of a Regrowth Pendant as this gives a little less than half of what it gives, as well as giving you more survivability in the jungle if you chose to play jungle Jax. Also, it is important since you don't have any built in sustain like Lee Sin.
Veteran's Scars : 30 health for one mastery point is nothing to pass up, as this is more than a Greater Quintessence of Health. This is an enormous boost to your early game health.
Initiator : Some movement speed for keeping up with the enemy Master Yi when he tries to get away from your Counter Strike in a teamfight. Also useful for early game farming and jungling.
Enlightenment : The bonus cooldown reduction is very useful for your Leap Strike and Counter Strike. At Level 18, you get 8.1% cooldown reduction which will bring your Empower from a 2.4 second cooldown to a 2.2 second cooldown if you have blue buff.
Indomitable A nice amount of damage reduction early game, and if you want more help late game, Honor Guard is also a viable option. However, you will have to take a point out of Initiator if you do this.
Juggernaut : Some % health which really will benefit you when you get your Warmog's Armor as you will basically getting 1000 health at the start along with some bonus health with the minions that you will farm afterwards. You also get some reduction on any disables that will come your way which will make it easier to escape if you do get stunned, or someone uses Exhaust, since I normally don't buy a Quicksilver Sash.
Just like every character, there are some summoner spells that help Jax and some that are completely and utterly useless on him as well. Then there are those other spells that are atleast reasonable in some way. I will now list
Teleport is an important spell for solo top. Early game, you can use it to recall, heal up, and come back with full health and an item advantage over your opponent. It can also help if you want to gank mid or bot lane before going back to top quickly with this spell so that the enemy top laner doesn't have as much time to react and come down. However, it's main purpose is to give your team an advantage when fighting over Dragon or other objectives mid to late game. Both of the top laners are rather isolated in top lane but Teleport allows you to quickly join the fight and give your team an advantage. Also, I'd suggest that you do this compared to protecting your turret since getting Dragon gives 40 more gold per person than a turret does, and you could potentially give your team a champion kill or two while doing this which will add to the gold you get. The main purpose of Teleport is generally to give you a presence in teamfights even when you were just farming top lane.
Ghost is also a good spell as it increases your movement speed for an entire 10 seconds, as well as avoid unit collision, allowing you chase, or just finally getting out of range of that Kennen who has been using his Lightning Rush in an attempt to stun you with his Thundering Shuriken. It also helps you chase enemies who have higher health because you will be able to keep up with them for a longer amount of time unlike Flash, and so it is good for when in a situation with Flash, Annie would stun you and skip away, laughing that you couldn't keep up. Instead, you will be able to continue to chase and potentially kill her, or get close to her before she is at her turret and you don't feel safe with her Pyromania stack count on 2 or 3. This will, however, give you more time to attack her turret before she manages to come back.
Exhaust is good mainly when facing a champion like Riven who builds a lot of AD but not much AP under any circumstances, and also against champions who are very mobile. This is mainly because it reduces the AD of a champion by a lot more than the AP. It also decreases the movement speed and attack speed of them so that you are basically certain to deal heavy damage before they have a chance of getting away. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take it against AP, as it will still bring down their AP so that you can win a fight against them, or just to hold them down. It is even more useful when you don't have a jungler with a lot of CC like Shyvana, so that they can keep up with the enemy and ensure that the gank will be successful either by forcing the enemy to burn an escape spell such as Flash or Ghost or resulting in a kill.
There is no exception when you are jungling. You take this or you lose buffs to Nunu. I think you'd rather take Smite, correct? However, never take this when you aren't the jungler. Also, you get 10 bonus gold whenever you smite something because of Summoner's Resolve if you still wanted to take it.
Other viable summoner spells
Flash is a very good multipurpose spell that can be used to get close enough to kill someone on the enemy team because Olaf started running away while a teamfight was happening. A nice way to catch up is to use Flash and then quickly use Leap Strike while you are still within range. Also, it can be used to escape a teamfight that you already know is lost since Annie had found her way back to your fed Graves who was your main source of damage. In this case, Flash away from the main battle and try to run in a different direction than the rest of your team because then you one of two things will happen. The first is that some people keep chasing after the others but one or two come after you. In this case, your team will have a much better chance of having more people still alive and therefore the outcome is better. The second is that nobody comes after you and well, that means that you can come around and help defend the turret in the event that the other team attempts to kill your allies at the turret.
Ignite is mainly used in two circumstances: the first being when you want to finish off an opponent at very low health but can't since they got away, either by being faster or by using Flash or Ghost, and the second when you are facing heavy healers like Swain and Vladimir. Don't underestimate this spell as it still very useful, as it does True Damage however, it is not my personal favorite.
Good choice if in a counter lane, but otherwise not as effective.
Yeah, this spell would be able to do something if it still existed. RIP Surge.
Choices you should never consider
Just don't, please.
You don't have mana issues unless you are spamming.
Cleanse is also not very useful when you can have a cheap Quicksilver Sash that costs less than 1500 gold and has a much lower cooldown. I just feel that there are much more useful summoner spells than this when most teams don't even have lots of CC like that. If they do, buy Quicksilver Sash if they are focusing you with it.
This is Jax's passive, and even though it may not seem very good, it is useful all game. This passive is also the reason that you shouldn't buy much attack speed on Jax besides the Zeal from the Trinity Force. However, once you are Level 18, this will give you 14% bonus attack speed every time you hit an enemy up to 6 times, which equals 84% bonus attack speed after 6 attacks. This synergizes very well with your ultimate's passive as you will be attacking faster than you would if you had a Phantom Dancer which will cause that third hit to come very fast.
One of Jax's abilities that aren't very strong but allow him to do what his job is: killing the carries. He can go over the tanks, stun the carries with Counter Strike so that everyone can catch up, and potentially cause a teamfight to go in your favor. Even better is that Jax can use this to jump to enemies, allies, minions, and even wards when you find yourself trapped at dragon without your Flash or just getting ganked and want to set up your Counter Strike in a bush to get away. Jump to wards and that will be very easy. One thing about this ability is that people think it is good for initiating and unfortunately, that is not the case. Using this to initiate will cause Jax to lose out on a large amount of potential damage that he could have if he wasn't focused so early in the teamfight. I max this second for the enhanced mobility.
Another thing to take note of is that Jax can use this over walls. Therefore, there are some situations in which you could truely take advantage of this.
One example is that you could get away from the enemy jungle after stealing their red buff very quickly.
The other main example is escaping after taking Dragon. This applies for Baron too, as you can still jump over the Baron wall with a ward or other person's assistance.
Empower boosts the damage of your next basic attack and makes him much better at dueling than other champions just because he can activate this ability right after he has attacked to reset the auto-attack timer which will bring up his Relentless Assault stacks earlier in the fight. It also gets a very low cooldown at Level 5, reaching 2.4 seconds if you have acquired blue buff and even less if you chose Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction. Something that most Jax players don't know is that if you activate Empower before you use your Leap Strike, it will deal damage equal to the amount of damage BOTH abilities do, making this a decent harrass against heavy melee champions since you can simply activate Counter Strike if they try to chase you back and stun them to give yourself an advantage in a duel you could have with your opponent before it has even started. Be careful, however, as this can drain a lot of mana if you use it too often.
Counter Strike is one of my favorite abilities on Jax as it gives him a large advantage against the majority of melee opponents that he could be fighting. At Level 1, this can do 140 damage if you initiate a fight against them by basic attacking them and immediatley turning on Counter Strike if they choose to commit to this fight if you were to have 0 AD, but with the amount of AD that you do have, this ability will do even more to your opponent and will basically give you a lane advantage right at the start. I would not suggest doing this to people against people such as Mordekaiser who don't do as much damage through basic attacks and therefore will simply try to back off and then come back to harrass you even more. But this is still a great ability as it helps you dodge incoming threats that could cause you to die. This is also why Jax counters so many champions, as these champions rely on their basic attacks to do enough damage to win a fight and this blocks that and turns it against them. It is also Jax's only form of CC and therefore is very important for Jax to take advantage of. However, this is really only a utility and should be maxed third.
Jax's ultimate, and is very useful since it provides Jax with a major damage boost which goes perfectly with his passive since it will be proceed more often, as well as tankiness through the purchasing of AD and AP. This allows Jax to seem very squishy besides a Warmog's Armor but grow very tanky when you activate this ability. However, I would not suggest building glass cannon items like The Bloodthirster or Rabadon's Deathcap because it only gives Jax 30% of his AD (90 if you had 300 attack damage) and 20% of his AP (60 if you had 300 ability power) into that much armor or magic resist. Also, this ability doesn't last forever so if you build completely squishy, the time the your ultimate isn't up in time is the day that you will be destroyed. Also, it only lasts 8 seconds so they will melt you down in basically one second when this happens which is why we still build tankier items instead of a carry.
You want to get Counter Strike at Level 1 because it provides you with a lot of early game damage as well as allowing you to jungle if you chose to do so. Empower is acquired at Level 2 and maxed first because it is Jax's main damage source when at a high enough level. It is also a very effective harrass when the enemy is trying to take a minion, but they will just regen their health back if you simply basic attack them before you continue harrassing. It also has a short cooldown that becomes less than 3 seconds by Level 5. Counter Strike should be maxed last since it truly is a utility. Leap Strike lets us hop all over the place every 6 or so seconds (probably less).
The way I play Jax, I see him as more of a tanky DPS who gets more damage instead of resistances since you will get all the armor and magic resist you need from Grandmaster's Might in a teamfight. Therefore, I get more damage and health through Trinity Force, Warmog's Armor, and Guardian Angel is there to make you even more of a pain to kill, as you will be able to come back to life and get your revenge on that Morgana that thought she could get away with using her full combo to CC you to death, but then dies because she doesn't have any of her spells to stop you when you Leap Strike to her.Jax deals more damage than the majority of off-tanks: You build more damage to get tanky instead of armor and magic resist! Also, since you want to attack the carries in teamfights, these will help you when they try to retaliate and kill you before it is too late and Brand is dead. However, you will come back to make sure that Brand is killed while the rest of your team either joins the fight or runs away because Alistar scares them too much. Hopefully, they will join the fight as they get a significant advantage when you trade an off-tank for a carry, as the carries are made to deal the most damage. Most of the time, however, you would want to focus down the AD carry first since you can dodge everything that they fire at you.
The purpose of these items are to give you enough bulk and enough damage (to be transferred into bulk thanks to Jax's ultimate Grandmaster's Might) so that Jax can focus the carries, deal massive damage to them with the Sheen procs, and keep up with them if they try to run with Leap Strike and the Phage passive that you get from Trinity Force. Then, Blade of the Ruined King gives you a nice amount of damage along with it's passive so that you can slow the carries that just decide they want to run away from you like Caitlyn.
Overall, the stats that are given by these items are amazing and help Jax hunt down and secure all enemies that he chooses to go after.
The Right Boots against the Right Enemies
Both of these boots are good, and they both have their specific purposes. It mainly depends on your lane opponent. However, if you are winning your lane, look at the other lanes. If the enemy AD carry is getting fed, you would want to get Ninja Tabi. If the enemy AP carry is getting fed, you would want to get Mercury's Treads. Most of the time, however, it will be based on your specific lane if you are playing solo top. If you are jungling, you really want to watch who is getting fed. If mobody is very fed, I would suggest Mercury's Treads for teams with CC and Ninja Tabi for teams without it.
+Decent Magic Resist
+Gives Tenacity against CC
-Not a significant amount of MR
+Some extra armor
+Reduced damage from basic attacks
-Less armor vs. Mercury's Treads MR
-Passive useful only on in certain situations
This item gives us some additional magic resist and attack damage and two very beneficial passives, one more built for AD Jax and one more built for helping Jax be tanky, which is why it is best to have on AD Jax instead of Hybrid Jax. The first passive is a new passive that gives him additional damage passed on how much health he is missing which will help as he will deal more damage and then Guardian Angel will bring him back to deal even more. The second is simply an improved version of the Hexdrinker passive as it will now give you a stronger shield to block a larger amount of magic damage.
This item just got an amazing buff, not only making it viable on Jax, but actually giving him everything he really wants that the other items in this build don't. He gets armor penetration which is amazing for the amount of AD you are buying, extra ad that goes with it, some cooldown reduction to spam those already low cooldown spells, some extra health, and then EVEN MORE ARMOR PENETRATION! Overall, they transformed The Black Cleaver into the perfect bruiser item, making it amazing since Jax will be attacking the enemy at such a rate that the stacks will be brought up very quickly. Overall, this just fits with Jax more than Atma's Impaler making it the better choice for Jax.
Just like on any character, there are many ways to successfully Jax and therefore I will list some of the items that I feel could be used, along with what to replace.
Infinity Edge is a very good late game item if you happen to be carrying your team. It gives you 80 AD, 25% critical chance, and even a boost to how much damage a critical hit will do. It even gives you armor when you activate Grandmaster's Might. although not as much as would be appreciated. This is still very useful for when you won your lane and are the reason you are winning the game.
Frozen Mallet is a less expensive alternative to Trinity Force which will give you a larger slow along with a 100% chance of getting it when you attack an enemy with a basic attack. Furthermore, it gives more health than Trinity Force which is very useful on Jax. However, it doesn't give as much health as Warmog's Armor and it doesn't give the burst that the Sheen gives on the Trinity Force. You also have a chance of getting a very similar passive effect from Trinity Force, just not guarenteed. Getting this in place of Trinity Force will result in you having to replace Warmog's Armor as well, as well as getting Atma's Impaler before Maw of Malmortius.
Wit's End is a less expensive alternative to Maw of Malmortius which is much more useful for the early - mid game stages. I'd suggest buying it after you buy your Sheen but before Trinity Force if you are fighting Mordekaiser or Akali. It also gives you some additional damage through it's passive and it procs your third hit from your Grandmaster's Might passive much more often which will make your dueling that much greater against those types of people. However, I don't include it in my main build because I like the two passives from Maw of Malmortius and it also gives additional armor as well as the magic resist thanks to the AD when you activate Grandmaster's Might. Nevertheless, it is still a great item for Jax to have.
Once again, if you are really having a problem with CC, this is a good option. Unlike Quicksilver Sash, this will only block one stun or spell, and it doesn't give as much magic resist, but it does give something that Jax really likes: Health. Jax needs some amount of bonus health, and I feel that the amount this item gives is enough with Trinity Force. However, Warmog's Armor benefits Jax better since he builds Atma's Impaler and this item also doesn't give any AD like Maw of Malmortius which is why I don't build it on him. However, this item is especially good on the hybrid builds to get some extra health and the useful block of a spell in a poke war or when you would be stunned at a turret.
Even though this is a build for AD Jax, this item still has some nice benefits such as the aura it provides, along with some magic resist, and some ability power that can become even more magic resist when you activate Grandmaster's Might. It even causes your thrid hit from your ult's passive to deal more damage than it does already, especially when you are directly getting more damage from the direct ability power and more from the fact that they don't have as much magic resist because of the aura making this a perfectly viable alternative when you decide to play AD Jax against an AP heavy team.
This is simply getting another Doran's Blade if you are losing the lane or having a hard time farming or something to this effect. It does give quite a bit of health and at times will help you in duels. However, it does cost a bit more than is really needed and will cause you to fall behind a little during mid game when you need to sell it, since you used a little gold to get it. Nevertheless, it is a great choice for early game to help you survive.
This is a very good choice if you were counterpicked in lane, as you will be earning extra gold which you would be missing out on because you couldn't farm as good as possible.
When laning as Jax, focus on farming at the start. You want to be able to get enough gold to deal damage when you start playing more aggresive excluding people that you counter directly unless you decide to try for some early game damage with a Level 1 Counter Strike for the advantage. You only want to harrass if they come to get a minion but not attack you. In this case, use a basic attack and immediately use Empower afterwards to deal a nice amount of damage.
When you recall, get a Sight Ward along with 2 Doran's Blades. Continue to play passively until you reach Level 6, where you will get Grandmaster's Might which will give you a major boost to your damage output thanks to it's passive.
If they decide to engage you before Level 6, they may have an advantage because you get the majority of your damage after Level 6. I would suggest activating Counter Strike so that you get the stun on them, use Empower to deal some additional damage, and then back off. This will most likely prevent them from engaging you until Level 6, since this is when you want them to engage you. The reason you want them to engage you is so that you don't have to use your Leap Strike to start fighting, so that you can use it when they use their Flash in an attempt to get away.
If you did initiate with Leap Strike because you already had an advantage on them, use Ghost if you took it to prevent being kited and raise your chances of killing them before they get away. Also, make sure to use your Exhaust (if you took it) after you stun them with Counter Strike so that they won't run before the stun occurs because they are Exhausted and don't want to engage you anymore. Doing it in this way will either force them to recall instead of turret hugging, or potentially kill them if you continued after them. Just make sure you aren't fight someone such as Renekton who could take advantage of a turret dive by stunning you with Ruthless Predator and then activating his ultimate, Dominus, to get his health back while your health bar is significantly lowered by the turret. Otherwise, just back off and let him turret hug.
If you farmed well and even got a kill or two, you will enter the mid game with a lot of damage and be a force to be reckoned with.
Speaking of mid game...
This is where how successful you were in the laning phase can either make or break you. If you were successful and got a lot of farm, you will have a strong mid game and might even have a Trinity Force by now. This will bring your damage output up even more so that you begin to melt the carries on the other team when they try to fight you. During mid game, fights will begin to take place over Dragon and possibly Baron if their team comp is good enough for it. If it is the case that everyone but you and your opponent are at Dragon and you are in top lane, this is where Teleport would become very useful. The reason is that you can join the fight on Dragon by simply sneaking in through a nearby ward with Teleport to give your team the advantage in any fight that may occur and most likely lead to you getting Dragon because they are outnumbered and would lose any fight that occurs unless they are extremely fed. This is better than if your lane opponent manages to take down your turret in that time because Dragon is worth 190 Gold for each person compared to a turret which is 150 Gold for each person.
If the situation comes that your team is going to take Dragon, I would recommend that you push your lane to the enemy turret before your team starts taking Dragon, if possible, to prevent the enemy from taking your turret in the first place, or atleast to delay them. If they still took down your turret, you could also potentially push back and take down their turret in the time where they decided to Recall, getting back the gold that the other team got for taking down your turret. Therefore, getting Dragon is by far more important than a turret and you should always take it if you have the chance.
Late game is where everyone will start to get a lot of items and potentially complete their builds. At this point, you will hopefully have your Trinity Force, Warmog's Armor, Guardian Angel, and you are starting to build your Maw of Malmortius or your Atma's Impaler depending on the enemy team. If they have a fed AD carry or jungler who is AD, I'd suggest building the Atma's Impaler first as it gives a decent amount of armor along with some more armor when you activate Grandmaster's Might thanks to Atma's Impaler's passive which gives Jax more AD based on how much health he has. This is also when Jax starts to begin dealing a massive amount of damage even if you weren't getting fed in minions or in kills early game, since you should always have the core items within 40 minutes if your team was successful and working on the last two items of this build. Just make sure you don't use Leap Strike to start a fight as you will die all too quickly to the five enemies that are now standing in every direction around you (in other words, don't leap to your death).
If you choose to play Jax as a jungler, then it will be a bit different for how you will build him as well as what you do with him. Also, Jax is capable of using several starting items, and these two setups are the best in my opinon (please note that I am using my jungle AD build still since it is the jungle version of what my guide is focused on):
Jungle Build: Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potion into Madred's Razors, Boots of Speed, Wriggle's Lantern and then Phage
Due to the way the jungle has changed, this is now the only way you can start Jungle Jax if you want to keep a competitive clear time. However, this really helps you clear the jungle because you use mostly your auto attacks, Counter Strike, and Empower to clear it. Therefore, the benefits that Hunter's Machete give really do help in the long run. Also, this now is part of the build of Wriggle's Lantern, meaning that it makes jungle clearing even faster, yet less viable if you chose Wriggle's Lantern while playing solo top.
My jungle route is similar to most other junglers. I start at wolves, requesting a pull from my mid lane and potentially my top/bot lane, making sure that they take none of the gold and none of the experience if it can be avoided as well, and focusing the big wolf first.
However, you can also start at the Blue Buff focusing the buff itself first with your basic attacks if you are worried about losing out on the experience or even the gold. Make sure to use Smite at an appropriate time to secure the buff.
You can now do one of two things:
۰Firstly, you could do a Level 2 gank on top lane, coming in from either the bush on the top or from the river (just remember than you won't have your main ganking tool which is Leap Strike even though you have a stun which will still make the gank effective)
۰Secondly, you could continue along your route, which is the recommended choice if you notice that the lane hasn't been extended in a way that you could get a kill from the gank.
When you do get back to your route, head over to wolves if they are back up or if you only took the leash at blue, killing the biggest one first. Now, go to wraiths, even if you ganked, since it still takes 50 seconds for wolves to respawn. Focus the big wraith and basic attack it, followed by a quick Empower and then activate Counter Strike immediatley afterwards to negate as much damage as possible while still dealing damage quickly. If you did this right, you should be able to dodge all of the initial attacks that the wraiths use until after they are stunned, which will most likely be when the biggest wraith dies. Finish off the rest of the wraiths and continue on to the golems, focusing the biggest one first and using the same starting combination.
Now it is time for red buff, since you will most likely have your Smite off cooldown. Use the same starting combination, making sure to focus the buff, and using Smite when it is at the appropriate amount of health to once again prevent it from being stolen.
You should gank now if you can, looking at your lanes and asking yourself the following questions:
+Is a lane struggling or getting zoned?
+Is that lane also pushed or in a position that allows you to give your lane an advantage?
If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, then it would be a smart idea to gank. Also, there are other situations when it would also be a good idea to gank, such as when Ahri doesn't have her ult up and would be forced to use Flash if she had that up or just when you want to force the other team out so that you could take Dragon. Another example would be when you have a Blitzcrank that could put someone in position for you to gank and most likely kill. However, most of the time, you would go back to jungling and just keeping watch of the lanes to take advantage of every opportunity you can to gank them.
In a teamfight, your goal is to take down the enemy carries or make them run away so that they aren't attacking your allies and you can win the teamfight. However, this doesn't mean that you are the initiator, even though you could do so if you used Leap Strike to the carries, because you can deal a lot more damage if you aren't getting focused than if everyone is focusing you because you are right in the middle of them before everyone else has even started to attack the enemy. That is why it is better for someone such as Amumu or Shen to initiate a teamfight instead of you. Whenever you aren't in a teamfight, go back to your lane and attempt to get some farm to force someone up to your lane and stop more teamfights from occuring because not everybody is there for either side to attempt to start a teamfight.
There are several ways that a teamfight can be started. These are some examples of ways that teamfights could be started (please know that not every situation will be listed):Example 1: You look at your Sight Ward on Dragon to notice that the enemy team is starting to go there, and your team is grouped up in mid lane trying to push to the enemy turret. If this is the case, signal for your team to go there and make sure your tank is in the front so that he/she will be focused the most. If possible, have the enemy team attack Dragon first so that the dragon is hitting them as well and therefore will be forced to back off so that you have a better opportunity to take Dragon before they come back.
Another thing that could happen is that they stay around and attempt to fight back. If the enemy AD carry was the person who initiated, you should focus the AP carry because the Dragon applies an attack speed debuff which would cause the enemy AD carry to not be as useful in that teamfight, therefore making it basically a 5v4 since Dragon is also attacking them. Same thing with Baron except that there is no attack speed debuff that is applied.
Example 2: Both teams are at Baron, looking for an attempt to take it. However, the enemy's AD carry can't be seen so you are not sure what to do. Then you notice the AD carry in bot lane, trying to finally get his Infinity Edge before the fight starts. Signal this to your allies and have your initiator start the fight as soon as possible, especially if you notice that he is coming up because he just realized what was happening. You should be able to take Baron as the other team will not want to be fighting and kill them if they try, starting with their AP or AD carry depending on who poses a bigger threat to your team.
Example 3: Everyone from each team is in mid lane, trying to push to the turret and potentially take it down. The enemy team could potentially be made up of long ranged pokers like Xerath, Ashe, and Janna who could prevent a teamfight from ever starting by damaging you to much to do it. In this case, either have your initiator stop this from happening by initiating the fight or lure the other team to a fight by hiding in the bush, making them think it is a 5v4, then coming out when they begin fighting, focusing your carries while you come out and Leap Strike to their carries to kill them off and win the fight. Your main goal in this case is to make a teamfight occur as fast as possible, and most likely dodge that Enchanted Crystal Arrow if you can.
There are obviously many other ways that a teamfight can occur, but these are the most common and therefore the most important to mention. Basically, your main goal is to take down the carries, but NOT to initiate the fight. You lose out on the majority of your damage by starting the fight, since you will be focused immediately and lose any advantage you could get if you were able to kill the carries, even if you made them recall since you will have to wait another 15 seconds when they return to the fight to help dominate your team.
Situations to Use Certain Builds
The enemy team is a very common team which has a nice balance of AD and AP, such as Sona, Graves, Kennen, Hecarim, and Malphite. In this case, any of the builds would work since they all would help you deal with this team in certain ways. The two best builds would be the hybrid builds because they would give you armor and magic resist when you activate Grandmaster's Might rather than just armor from the AD build. It would still work, however, since you may want to Leap Strike over to the Graves, making him basically focus you right away and Graves would not be dealing much damage because you have so much AD to transfer into armor from the active form of your ultimate.Example Two:
The enemy team is full of many AD/autoattackers such as Blitzcrank, Ashe, Talon, Riven, and Darius. In this case, the most recommended build would be the direct AD build as it will give you the most armor to deal with this sort of team. However, the Sheen will give you a small amount of magic resist at the same time when you activate Grandmaster's Might so that when Darius does hit you, the small amount of magic damage that occurs from his passive afterward will not cause a lot of damage. Other examples would be Blitzcrank's Static Field or Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow will deal less damage ene if it is only by a slight amount if attempted to be used as the killing blow or when engaging the fight, as you will start at a slightly higher health margin.
The enemy team has several AP people on their team such as a comp of Karma, Kog'Maw, Galio, Vladimir, and Fiddlesticks. In this case either of the two hybrid builds would be entirely more effective than the AD build as they will provide a significant amount of magic resist for Grandmaster's Might as well as still getting a little bit of armor for Kog'Maw since he does a lot more physical damage than magic damage.
Solo Top Opponents
Based on your opponent, you will want to build certain items and build Jax a certain way. You may also want to avoid picking Jax if you find out before the game starts that your opponent is Yorick. If you have already picked Jax, change your summoner spells so that you have Smite and ask to jungle instead of lane if your jungler will allow it and has picked someone like Udyr who could also solo top.
Fiora is probably one of the champions that hates fighting you the most. Almost every engage that you have against her will go in your favor after Level 6 as her Burst of Speed gets absorbed into extra damage for you on your Counter Strike and the best part about it is that you can use Counter Strike to dodge her Blade Waltz which most Fiora's will not know until you dodge them and stun her as soon as she is targetable again. The only issue is that her Riposte will hurt you for quite a bit of damage if you use your Empower and she activates this ability to deflect it. However, you will still deal some damage because Empower deals magic damage which will still hit her for something. When engaging her after Level 6, I normally let her use her Burst of Speed on me and deal some damage so that she thinks she has the advantage, then activate Counter Strike as soon as she activates Blade Waltz to get in range of finishing me so that it does no damage and I have a chance to bring her down to nothing. Just focus on farming until Level 4 and then start to harrass as she will win a fight before Level 4.
Recommended Items: Start with Boots of Speed, build normal build since Fiora poses no threat to you and therefore you don't need to build items to counter her.
Changes to skilling order: None
Katarina will be able to harrass you easily until Level 6 with Bouncing Blades as well as evading Counter Strike with her Shunpo. However, Bouncing Blades won't deal a large amount of damage unless she can get next to you, making her an easy target to punish in this way. However, you can also harrass her with Empower and by making sure you are in the middle of the minions when you activate Counter Strike or near her so that you can still hit her if she Shunpo's to a minion behind you. After Level 6, you can win a fight IF you have your Counter Strike off cooldown because Death Lotus will deal an enormus amount of damage if you can't stun her and stop it. To make sure of this, activate Counter Strike as soon as she uses Shunpo to get close to you, and then leave it on for it's full duration if she doesn't use Death Lotus, but activate it as soon as possible if she does use it. You can also harrass her very well, by stunning, basic attacking, then hitting her with Empower and using one last basic attack before using Leap Strike to get away.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads, Phage, and Wit's End for Magic Resist in the laning phase.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, Shunpo has a higher cooldown than Leap Strike and you need Counter Strike as much as possible.
Shyvana is also someone who you should be able to beat if you play against her correctly. Before Level 6, harrass her whenever her Burnout is on cooldown, focusing on farming while using Counter Strike and Empower to wear her down. Still try to avoid having an actual fight with her before Level 6, as she does have more damage than you thanks to Burnout. Try to have small skirmishes with her when possible, ending the fight when you stun her, hit her once more, and then back off. One thing you should know when skirmishing with her is that you should avoid attacking her while she has Burnout off cooldown or activated, as this is what will cause her to win any of these fights. Lastly, she is very open to gank thanks to her ability to push with Burnout and if you can successfully kill her on one of these ganks, you will be able to dominate the lane and zone her with ease.
Recommended Items: Normal Build, it gives you everything you need against Shyvana.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, the damage of Burnout is reduced by Counter Strike and you just need to use Leap Strike to end the skirmishes.
This is a fight that will go in your favor. Before Level 6, harrass him as much as possible when he comes to poison your minions, and get more farm than him if possible. You are a lot more dangerous than him if you get equal farm so you just have to make it harder for him to farm while still farming yourself. Also, if he dives you, activate Counter Strike as this normally forces him to back off and if it doesn't, punish him for continuing by stunning him and most likely dealing around a third of his health. Do not harrass him while you could be farming because that is exactly what he is doing. You should be doing it too.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads, 2 Doran's Blades for quick early game damage and small amount of sustain, and Phage into Trinity Force because you will have an easy time getting this if you fight Singed correctly.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, he won't be extremely aggresive, he normally waits a while before he Flings you after he has already done it.
Akali is not a major threat early game, but if she gets fed, she can basically carry a game single handedly. I suggest taking advantage of her weaker early game to shut her down as quickly as possible. However, she also has an effective escape mechanism in her Twilight Shroud. Another thing to take note of is that her Mark of the Assassin doesn't deal a lot of damage unless she procs the second part by basic attacking. Therefore, try to activate Counter Strike before she can do this to prevent her from procing the second part of Mark of the Assassin. If she retreats to her Twilight Shroud, follow her while your Counter Strike is still on, stun her, then back off as most of the time it will hit her if you were close enough behind her. However, if you bought a Vision Ward, you can place that in the center of the Twilight Shroud and continue attacking her, which will force a continuation of the fight. Continue to do this until Level 6, where she will now get her ultimate, Shadow Dance. This is a large boost to her damage and will make her a much greater threat to you and you should be careful, even near your tower.
Mercury's Treads, Wit's End, Vision Ward and/or Maw of Malmortius
Changes to Skilling Order:
Max Leap Strike second by Level 13
Cho'Gath isn't one of the best duelers but has great sustain due to his passive Carnivore. He also has a combo in the form of Rupture and Feral Scream to deal a decent amount of damage, along with slowing and silencing you so that he can easily get away. This is the main reason that I start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions when fighting him, so that I can avoid his Rupture which costs him a large amount of mana early game. Use your Leap Strike to your advantage because, if timed correctly, you can take no damage and also laugh at Cho'Gath as Rupture actually takes more mana than Leap Strike. Another thing to think about is that when silenced, you can't activate your Counter Strike early but can still have it on. With Counter Strike, you should also remember that it reduces the damage that you will take from his AoE attacks (everything but his Feast. His Vorpal Spikes on his basic attacks deal reduced damage but will still hit you even with Counter Strike activated.
Mercury's Treads, Wit's End, and/or Guardian Angel
Changes to Skilling Order:
Once again, max Leap Strike second by Level 13
At the beginning of the game, this is more of a farm fest than anything. However, you can be a little more aggresive with Irelia as most of her damage comes from her basic attacks and you can therefore put up Counter Strike and hit her with a few basic attacks and an Empower, using Leap Strike to follow her if she attempts to dodge the stun. At Level 6, you will be able to deal massive amounts of damage to her and potentially win over the lane. A fight against Irelia is most likely a fight that will go in your favor. Just be careful when tower diving as she will most likely stun you to attempt to put you at a point where she could kill you and you could kill her, but your main goal against Irelia is to attempt to zone her and punish her if she goes for some extra CS.
Recommended items: Ninja Tabi if you feel that you need it, Giant's Belt, and Phage to block out her true damage.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, you need the damage that you will get from both Counter Strike and Empower.
Olaf has a major harrass combo in his Undertow and Reckless Swing if he can hit you with Undertow. If he can't, it will fly by and hit somewhere either next to you or on you. If it hits you, back off to a nearby minion, using Leap Strike to get there if he is getting to close. Try to go for some quick harrass combos of Empower and a basic attack while still avoiding Undertow to make sure he can't pursue you too far. You will not win this lane unless you can dodge his skill shots and take him down slowly. At Level 6, Olaf will become a lot scarier to fight because you can no longer stun him if he activates Ragnarok. If he does this make no hesitation to use Leap Strike to get back as you will not want to fight him while he has this on. When you do engage him after Level 6, save your Counter Strike for when he decides to activate Vicious Strikes, which you can realize he has activated when his axes start glowing and the sounds you will hear in the background to reduce how much life steal he gets out of it.
Recommended Items: Ninja Tabi, Wriggle's Lantern, and an early Giant's Belt either before or after you get Phage.
Changes to Skilling Order: I'd suggest maxing Leap Strike second by Level 13 to avoid as much True Damage harrass as possible, or leveling it up once or twice extra before you max Counter Strike. You will need the cooldown reduction on Leap Strike desperatley here.
This fight is an even fight, and either of you can win it. However, it is most likely that there will be only one winner, and that winner is the person who gets to use their combo first. If he can use Nimbus Strike and Crushing Blow while getting away with Decoy before you can use Counter Strike, he will easily beat you. However, if you activate Counter Strike and stun him before he gets to his Decoy or while he is attempting to retaliate, you will win the fight. If you both play passively and attempt to only farm, then it depends on who gets more jungler ganks or who farms better. Really, the winner of this is determined based on if you can beat him to executing your combo or he beats you. If he does beat you, atleast try to get Counter Strike up to block his Crushing Blow as you can force him to completely miss it.
Recommended Items: Everything is the same except for Ninja Tabi instead of Mercury's Treads.
Darius is a pain to deal with simply because he has a very strong harass through his Decimate early game which will also deal even more damage over time because of his passive Hemorrhage. Not only that, but Darius can pull you in because of Apprehend and at Level 6, he gets Noxian Guillotine, an ult that is basically exactly like Master Yi's Highlander in the sense that it's cooldown is refreshed if it lands the killing blow. One positive thing that you have over Darius is the fact that his Apprehend has a longer cooldown than your Leap Strike, even at level 1 so that you can use this to get away, hopefully before Darius has an opporrtunity to use Decimate to wear you down, but this requires very precise timing. In most cases, you will not want to engage Darius unless your jungler is nearby because without Counter Strike, he will deal more damage than you and even with your ultimate activated, he can easily beat you thanks to Noxian Gulliotine which does true damage, making your bonus armor and magic resist useless.
Ninja Tabi, Phage, Guardian Angel, and/or any health item that benefits Jax
Changes to Skilling Order:
None, because you want to be able to hit him for as much damage with Empower as possible while taking minimal damage because of Counter Strike when he attempts to engage you with Apprehend.
A good Gangplank will harrass you as much as possible early game with his Parrrley to gain an advantage and stop you from farming. I'd suggest starting Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions to negate as much of this harrass as possible and keep up with him in farm. After Level 6, you can begin to harrass him back. Just make sure that you back up when he uses Raise Morale and don't try engaging him inside of his ultimate or he will most likely win the fight. Gangplank can get rid of CC on him with Remove Scurvy when you stun him with Counter Strike and therefore can continue to chase you and deal significant damage while Raise Morale is still on. On the positive side, Jax can dodge a significant amount of Gangplank's harrass if you time Counter Strike correctly. You can dodge his Parrrley as well as a lot of damage when he has Raise Morale activated, sometimes even making him activate it and then just using Leap Strike away. Just make sure you have Leap Strike off cooldown to get out of his Cannon Barrage because this is what will give him an advantage in a fight that you have with him. Overall, you do have the advantage after Level 6 if you can make him use his ultimate and using Leap Strike when he does.
Recommended items: Ninja Tabi, Wriggle's Lantern, Phage, and Sheen ( Sheen mainly for it's burst damage in a fight).
Changes to skilling order: None unless you feel like you need the cooldown reduction on Leap Strike, but the cooldown reduction Counter Strike is much more useful in this matchup as it lets you dodge his Parrrley a lot more.
Unlike most people, Jax can turn a lane against Kennen in his favor if he does a few things against Kennen. The first is to DODGE HIS SHURIKENS. If you can't do this, then you are going to end up in a horrible situation against Kennen as he will constantly harrass and stun you with his passive, Mark of the Storm until you are worn down enough to be forced to recall. If you can avoid his Thundering Shuriken, try to get close to him with a Leap Strike, stun him with Counter Strike, and uses basic attacks and Empower to bring his health down and force him to back off. If you can force him to stay back and attempt to throw his shurikens at you, and you keep dodging them, you will most likely win the lane and be very powerful during mid game.
Recommended items: Mercury's Treads, Negatron Cloak, and Phage for the extra bulk. If AD Kennen, get Ninja Tabi, Phage, and Wriggle's Lantern.
Changes to Skilling Order: Get Level 2 Leap Strike at Level 8 for a little cooldown reduction to have around the same cooldown as Kennen's Lightning Rush. Still max Counter Strike 2nd, however.
Renekton is a very strong champion which you have to play very carefully if you want to beat him. Harrass him early to get the advantage before he becomes too strong and gets his ultimate, Dominus, which will deal a lot of damage as well as give him some extra health. You do not want to fight Renekton while you even think that he has ultimate up, you need to lure it out and fight him after it is gone. You should especially not turret dive Renekton while he has his ultimate, as he will simply stun you and gain an easy advantage. That is why you want to harrass him down early, so that you get the advantage before he gets his ultimate, and he will have to try to take you down at his turret. Basically, when harrassing him avoid doing it before he has used his Cull the Meek to ensure maximum damage while taking minimum, and take note of the fact that while Ruthless Predator will deal no damage while Counter Strike is up, it will still stun you and Counter Strike will probably stun him too, making both of the attacks deal very little damage all together.
Recommended Items: Ninja Tabi, Wriggle's Lantern, and Phage to be able to chase when you do have an advantage on him.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, you want the extra cooldown reduction and damage in a fight with Renekton.
Riven is a champion that has an advantage on Jax early game, making harrassment very difficult. This is primarily because of her shield, Valor which will give her a shield based on her Attack Damage. Also, Broken Wings should be avoided if activated and you should only go to harrass her while she doesn't have that ability or you have Leap Strike so that you can stun her, Empower, and then get out as quickly as possible. Just try not to engage Riven until Level 6, because she will win almost any fight. Her Blade of the Exile will hurt you a lot if she was able to bring your health bar down but if you were harrassing her a lot after Level 6 came around, you should start to gain the upper hand.
Recommended Items: Ninja Tabi, Wriggle's Lantern, Chain Vest - you really won't be able to catch up to Riven if she runs, so making her deal less damage is much more useful.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, Counter Strike needs to deal enough damage so that you can break through Riven's shield if she was able to use Valor in time.
One of the more common solo tops in today's metagame, Lee Sin does have some significant advantages over you. The first is built in sustain, which will give him a strong advantage when he trades with you early game. Second is that he has mastered the art of "Douchebaggery" which basically means that he will attack you with a gap closer in the form of Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, hit you with his Tempest / Cripple, then retreat back to his minions with Safeguard / Iron Will. He is also a strong duelist because of Flurry and can still get his health back even if you manage to beat him in a duel. However, when you have Counter Strike up, his Flurry will simply boost it's strength, giving you a bit of an advantage during the beginning stages of a fight with him. Unfortunaley, he is still a bit stronger than you early game with a higher amount of attack damage early game which he will most likely take advantage of to prevent you from farming. With Lee Sin, don't try to harrass him too much unless you can really take advantage of it until you are Level 6.
Recommended Items: Ninja Tabi, Wriggle's Lantern, and Chain Vest if needed.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, since you need Counter Strike at a decent level to have any chance of winning a duel against him.
Mordekaiser is someone that really will annoy Jax. He is a mad pusher, who spams all of his abilities to clear a minion wave quickly, but yet also to harrass enemy champions. The main problem with harrassing Mordekaiser is his passive, Iron Man which gives will basically block a large portion of the damage you do while he still deals damage to you with Siphon of Destruction and Mace of Spades which is why I'd attempt to use your Level 1 combination of basic attacks and Counter Strike to reduce his AoE damage and attempt to zone him, possibly kill him if you can. Just make sure that you don't chase him forever. This is why it is key to only harrass him while his shield is low, or else any trade will go in his favor. He also makes it very challenging to farm because if you do go for it, make no mistake, a good Mordekaiser will be sure to harrass you when you want minion farm. Therefore, try to stay back and farm the creeps until you know that his Siphon of Destruction is down and his Iron Man isn't built up, otherwise just stay back.
Recommended Items: Start Boots of Speed to be able to maneuver around and collect minions while his Siphon of Destruction is down, build a Doran's Blade or two, then get a quick Mercury's Treads followed by Phage for extra health.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, Counter Strike thankfully reduces Area of Effect (AoE) damage by 25%, making Counter Strike very useful in this fight.
Teemo is not your standard top, but if he is played right, he will easily harrass you out of the lane. His main advantage over you is his ability to deal large amounts of damage with a single basic attack thanks to Toxic Shot which will drag your health bar down, and then he has his Blinding Dart which can make you miss him because you are blinded like you can dodge him with Counter Strike (however, you can't dodge his blind). Therefore, I would attempt to harrass him with Counter Strike to stun him but if he has blinded you, don't got for an Empower as it won't really work. Overall, however, he does have a significant advantage on you. Nevertheless, if you get a jungler gank or two that successfully give you a kill, then you should get an advantage on Teemo and you could potentially zone him, using Leap Strike to get close enough to hit him with Counter Strike if he attempts to harrass you to push his way back to your creeps. He also has some wards through his Noxious Trap and yet these also deal damage to anything that gets hit, making it difficult to gank him after he reaches Level 6. That is why you need to get some early ganks so that you can effective beat him in the lane. If not, you might just get zoneed yourself.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads, Vision Ward for the places he puts his mushrooms, and Phage for some extra health.
Make no mistake, you have basically already lost. Malphite makes it almost impossible to farm because of his Seismic Shard and Ground Slam and what is even worse is that while you are trying to attack him, he will simply use Ground Slam and that will really hurt your DPS (Damage Per Second) because it will lower your attack speed by a dramatic amount, which makes it harder to build up stacks for Grandmaster's Might which overall makes you deal much less damage. But if he does this often, he may run out of mana so that you can beat him in a fight. Trying to get away with Leap Strike? He will follow with Unstoppable Force and finally finish you off while taking all of those turret hits. He is a tank after all, and you can't really stop him from farming unless you want to die. I suggest getting a lot of help from your jungler because you have a chance of still winning your lane and using the hybrid build, because the passive from Bilgewater Cutlass will still really hurt him when your attack speed is slowed, possibly making him think that is your ult's passive and backing off. If he didn't think so, he will probably go on to win the fight.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads and Bilgewater Cutlass into Hextech Gunblade. USE HYBRID JAX IF YOU HAVE TO FIGHT THIS GUY
Changes to Skilling Order: None, he has a lot of AoE damage and Counter Strike will reduce it (this really is the only pro when fighting Malphite besides him running out of mana more than you).
Elise is just barely able to be dealt with. Get as much sustain as you can throughout the lane, as this will help you against her poke. Whenever she goes into spider form, immediately use Counter Strike and start a fight with her. Your Counter Strike will be built up very quickly because of her spider lings, but you outscale her so get to that point and you will eventually destroy her. Force her to stay in her human form to help burn her mana while you sustain up and play the waiting game with her ult. If she gets chalice, cry because she will pretty much never run out of mana, be able to stun you when you get close, and do serious damage before you can even use Counter Strike. Just try to get through lane and you should be able to handle her after that.
If you have picked Jax and you are fighting Yorick, your first option it to try to switch to being the jungler, as even a decent Yorick will most likely zone you. Your second option is to switch to mid lane if you can't switch to jungle. If you can't try to get as much CS as possible at Level 1 so that you atleast have something for when he starts zoning you. I'd recommend staying out of range of him but still staying in range so you can get some experience points and keep up in level, and just flat out turret hug when the minions approach your turret. You want to have the minions at your turret so Yorick can't harrass you as much. Get as many ganks as you can and just try for the slight zone at Level 1 where you basic attack him and activate Counter Strike. Everything you can do will help when fighting this guy. Just try to avoid fighting this guy as much as possible. The one positive thing I can think of is that Yorick's ghouls won't follow you into the brush unless he walks in it or he summons his Omen of Pestilence into it which he can target anywhere and will grant the other ghouls sight of you.
Recommended Items: Cloth Armor +5 Health Potions start, into Ninja Tabi then get Wriggle's Lantern and try to build up your Trinity Force.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, you need to block out his harrass with Counter Strike, potentially stun him, and keep your health up as much as possible so that you can't get turret dived when he uses Omen of Death. Leap Strike won't be helping that much anyways since you will be staying back after Level 1.
Interestingly enough, Shen is a champion that beats you after level 6, while you are both in a stalemate before then. Shen lacks tankiness before Level 6 but is hard to harrass because of Shadow Dash, Vorpal Blade, and his passive, Ki Strike. This will effectively bring your health down when you try to harrass him. He also has a ranged harrass unlike you, and although it doesn't deal significant damage, it will hurt when he uses it every three seconds and even gives him extra sustain. Getting an early gank on Shen that either forces him to recall (in which case you will have to make sure you get another gank) or kills him before he gets too tanky. If he gets too tanky, you will have almost no chance of getting a kill on him and he will easily zone you with his overall sustainability and skills as a dueler. If you try to farm, he will simply use Shadow Dash and deal about a quarter of your health. Also, do not dive Shen unless he is really close to death and you are at atleast half. His Shadow Dash will reduce damage taken to him and he will most likely use Feint after this to shield even more damage, therefore making it extremely hard to kill him. Overall, try to get a gank on him early so that you can still hurt him, because he will grow too tanky for you to beat him if he gets good farm.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads for the tenacity, Wriggle's Lantern or 2 Doran's Blades for life steal and health/armor depending on which one you got, and an early Giant's Belt since he does a significant amount of both magic and physical damage and you will need this health more than you need the AD from Phage.
Changes to Skilling Order: Get an extra point in Leap Strike so that you can keep up with Shadow Dash in terms of cooldown by Level 8 and then continue to max Counter Strike.
Swain is the one person that Jax hates more than Yorick, as long as the Swain player knows what he is doing. Using his Torment, Decrepify, and a basic attack combo prevents you from farming very easily and you will lose the lane because of those laserbirds. Then at Level 6, he will have a lot more farm than you (most likely) and will have sustain along with everything else. Not to mention that his passive makes it easier to do this more often. You only have the slightest chance of beating a good Swain if you can get an early game kill thanks to either a jungler gank or just a plain out lucky kill. If this is the case, you can force Swain to use his Ravenous Flock to get health from minions instead of you and burn through his mana, making him vulnerable to your harrass or even zoning if he is really low. If you see a Swain and you haven't picked yet, do no pick Jax. Even if they are going mid lane, they can always do a lane swap and that would be the end of you. Therefore, you are force to play as passively as possible. The last thing to know is that if you are caught in Nevermove after Level 6, you are done for. You will feel his full combo while you are still snared.
Recommended Items: Mercury's Treads, Wriggle's Lantern for sustain when you are pushed ( Swain does this a lot), and/or Wit's End. No matter what though, you will be lucky to get all of these by the end of the laning phase.
Changes to Skilling Order: None, the stun from Counter Strike will save you in this fight from death, and Leap Strike has a shorter cooldown than Nevermove.
In conclusion, Jax is a very strong off-tank champion who is capable of dealing massive damage even though most off-tanks aren't able to deal as much damage thanks to his Grandmaster's Might. Also, Jax is very capable of snowballing throughout the game, dominating with an insane amount of tankiness as well as damage with just the purchasing of Trinity Force.
Future Updates to occur:
+Addition of Warding Section
+Expansion of Solo Top opponents section
+Videos on jungle route and solo top opponents
+Short Guide for Hybrid Jax within the guide
I hope you enjoy playing Jax, and if you have any questions that I didn't answer in this guide, feel free to leave a comment and I will answer as soon as I can.
In this chapter, I will include the updates I made in order.
7-7-12 - Guide is released
7-21-12 - Added more solo top opponents
9-15-12 - Added model for update to come for solo top opponents and added GP10s to situational items
9-23-12 - Changed build to be appropriate with the meta and finished update
10-9-12 - Added change log
10-9-12 - Deleted AP Hybrid Jax due to how similar it was to Hybrid Jax and changed Hybrid Jax build to add Warmog's Armor instead of Randuin's Omen
Since I honestly lost track of my updates, this will no longer be updated.
Hall of Fame
If you have a game you would like to show how you did with this Jax guide, send it to me so that everyone can see it. Also, while I am unable to add something at this time, I will make sure that I do so within the next few updates.